Kentucky sports betting has been off to an excellent start! Since the original rollout of the state’s mobile betting market nearly a year ago, almost $250 million has been wagered and close to 50,000 betting accounts have been created.
Retail sportsbooks were the first to open up in the area, followed closely by mobile sports betting apps. Unsurprisingly, the online wagering handle has outpaced in-person wagering in the Bluegrass State.
Kentucky Sees Almost $250M In Handle & 50,000 New Wagering Accounts
The Kentucky sports betting market originally got rolling on September 7, 2023, when retail sportsbooks began to open. This was followed soon by online sports betting, which originally launched on September 28, 2023. A recent press release has revealed an announcement from Governor Andy Beshear that, since that initial launch date, almost $250 million in total has been wagered.
As Beshear said in the press release, “It has taken many years to get here, but sports wagering is finally a reality in Kentucky. This is a win-win for Kentuckians, who can enjoy a quality entertainment experience and benefit from funds staying right here in our state to help us build a better Kentucky.”
Beshear was the very first person in the state of Kentucky to place a legal wager, with a $20 parlay bet for numerous college football win totals. This initial bet was placed at the new brick-and-mortar sportsbook at Churchill Downs.
Tax revenue from the state’s sports betting industry will be allocated to the area’s problem gaming fund as well as its public pension deficit. Gross revenue for Kentucky sports betting is taxed 14.75% for online wagers and 9.75% for retail bets. The state’s sports betting market is overseen by the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission.
Nearly $250 million has been wagered in Kentucky since sports betting went live.
It took many years and a lot of hard work to get here, but we got it done! And now those dollars are staying in our commonwealth to make this a better place to call home for all our families.
— Governor Andy Beshear (@GovAndyBeshear) October 23, 2023
93.6% Of Kentucky Wagers Placed Online
Mobile sports betting has dominated the handle overall since the launch of Kentucky betting. $232.3 million of the entire handle has been wagered through online betting accounts since the initial launch. The Bluegrass State is home to plenty of the top mobile sports betting operators, such as BetMGM, DraftKings, Bet365, FanDuel, and Caesars. This accounted for 93.6% of the total $248 million Kentucky sports betting handle.
Meanwhile, retail sportsbooks have taken in $15.7 million in total handle so far. These brick-and-mortar sportsbooks are featured at popular horse racing tracks around the state. Some of the top retail sports betting spots include the Caesars Sportsbook at Red Mile Gaming & Racing, the Fanatics Sportsbook at Oak Grove Racing, Gaming, & Hotel, and the DraftKings Sportsbook at The Mint Gaming Hall at Cumberland Run.
It’s important to note that in-person sports betting also had a three-week headstart on mobile sports betting. Overall, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that online sports wagering was more popular in the state. The convenience of online betting is clear when looking at other state betting handles.
For example, take a look at the recent Massachusetts sports betting numbers for September. $499.7 million of the handle was from mobile wagering, accounting for a total of 97.5% of the $512.1 million. While retail betting will still have its fans in Kentucky going forward, don’t be surprised to see online wagering continue to dominate the handle.